The cheeky so and sos of youth climate change group Generation Zero rocked up to the offices of 13 National MPs prior to Christmas with a gift-wrapped piece of coal, along with the message that National has ‘been naughty on climate change’ and a Christmas card sporting the attitude-laden Gen Zero tagline: ‘For a future that’s not sh*t’.
Young liberal idealists clashing with jaded right-wing politicians is nothing new but, let’s face it, history shows they’re usually right (equal rights for women, the vote, gay rights, the Springbok tour, nuclear-free NZ etc).
Usually these victories take time, and plenty of it, but in this case there’s none to spare.
Climate change minister Tim Groser may have missed out on his lump of coal as he was in Lima for the UN Climate Conference at the time. Whether or not he was red-faced at the news that New Zealand was ranked 43rd in the recent Climate Change Performance Index we’ll never know, but it’s certainly another dirty smudge on the burnish of our pure reputation.
With so much resting on the decision in Paris this coming year, let’s hope Mr Key, gazing pensively out across Omaha Bay these holidays, decides that our little country, and our big planet, are worth preserving, and orders Mr Groser to come up with something a little more robust than a non-binding, five per cent reduction in emissions, and an actual plan on how it can be achieved. Let’s hope 2015 is an historic year for the planet. Happy new year!